Donate Sign up for e-network
CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


Species and Description
(click for a detailed technical account)
(click to view literature citations and larger graph)
(current and historic range)

Bowhead whale
Balaena mysticetus

Bowhead whales were severely depleted during intense commercial whaling prior to the 20th century. Western Arctic bowheads traveling past Point Barrow, Alaska, increased from an estimated 5,189 in 1978 to an estimated 9,860 in 2001.

AK(s) ---

Aleutian Canada goose
Branta canadensis leucopareia
By the 1960's the Aleutian Canada goose was feared extinct due to the decline caused by the introduction of foxes onto the nesting islands. The goose has rebounded from a handful of remnant populations numbering as few as 790 individuals in 1975 to an estimated 37,000 in 2001, allowing the Aleutian Canada goose to be removed from the Endangered Species list.

AK(b), CA(s), OR(s), WA(m) ---

Fin whale
Balaenoptera physalus

Fin whales were hunted in all the world's oceans for the first three-quarters of the 20th century. There have been increases in both the North Atlantic and North Pacific populations in recent years.

AL(o), AK(s), CA(s), CT(s), DE(s), FL(s), GA(s), HI(s), LA(o), ME(s), MD(s), MA(s), MS(o), NH(s), NY(s), NJ(s), NC(s), OR(s), PA(s), RI(s), SC(s), TX(o), VA(s), WA(s) ---

Blue whale
Balaenoptera musculus

The blue whale was reduced by as much as 99% due to whaling that occurred until the mid-1960's. The number of whales reported off the coast of California increased from 704 in 1980 to an estimated 1,744 today.

AK(s), CA(s), FL(o), HI(s), ME(o), MD(o), MA(o), NI(o), NH(o), NY(o), NC(o), OR(o), PR(o), RI(o), SC(o), VI(o), WA(o) ---

Gray whale (northeast Pacific DPS)
Eschrichtius robustus pop. 3
Gray whales declined preciptiously through the 17th and 18th century due to intense whaling. Although the number of gray whales has increased and the species is no longer considered endangered, it remains imperiled by ship strikes, coastal development, pollution, military activities, exploration and development of oil and gas resources.

AK(b), CA(b), OR(b), WA(b) ---

Arctic peregrine falcon
Falco peregrinus tundrius
The use of DDT and other organochlorine pesticides resulted in reproductive failures in Arctic peregrines and caused their population to plummet. After DDT was banned, migration counts at the New Jersey Cape May Hawkwatch site saw the number of migrating Arctic peregrines increase from 103 in 1976, to 429 in 1992 (the species was delisted in 1994), to 1,017 in 2004.

AL(m), AK(b), AZ(m), AR(m), CA(m), CO(m), CT(m), DE(m), DC(m), FL(m), GA(m), ID(m), IL(m), IN(m), IA(m), KS(m), KY(m), LA(m), ME(m), MD(m), MA(m), MI(m), MN(m), MS(m), MO(m), MT(m), NE(m), NV(m), NH(m), NY(m), NM(m), NJ(m), NC(m), ND(m), OH(m), OK(m), OR(m), PA(m), RI(m), SC(m), SD(m), TN(m), TX(m), UT(m), VT(m), VA(m), WA(m), WV(m), WI(m), WY(m) ---

American peregrine falcon
Falco peregrinus anatum

The use of DDT and other organochlorine pesticides resulted in reproductive failures in American peregrines and caused populations to plummet. After DDT was banned, the number of American peregrine pairs breeding in the U.S. increased from 324 in 1975 to 1,700 in 2000; the species was delisted in 1999.

AL(m), AK(b), AZ(b), AR(m), CA(b), CO(b), CT(b), DE(b), DC(m), GA(b), ID(b), IL(b), IN(b), IA(b), KS(m), KY(b), LA(m), ME(b), MD(b), MA(b), MI(b), MN(b), MS(m), MO(m), MT(b), NE(b), NV(b), NH(b), NY(b), NM(b), NJ(b), NC(b), ND(m), OH(b), OK(m), OR(b), PA(b), RI(b), SC(b), SD(b), TN(b), TX(b), UT(b), VT(b), VA(b), WA(b), WV(m), WI(b), WY(b) ---

Humpback whale
Megaptera novaeangliae

Humpback whale populations were greatly depleted by commercial whaling by the early 1900s. In 1966, the entire North Pacific humpback population was thought to number only around 1,200 animals; this estimate increased to between 6,000 and 8,000 by 1992.

AL(o), AK(s), CA(s), CT(s), DE(s), FL(s), GA(s), HI(s), LA(o), ME(s), MD(s), MA(s), MS(o), NI(s), NH(s), NY(s), NJ(s), NC(s), OR(s), PR(o), RI(s), SC(s), TX(o), VI(s), VA(s), WA(s) ---

Steller sea lion (Western DPS)
Eumetopias jubatus (western DPS)
The Steller sea lion is threatened by loss of its prey base to unsustainable commercial fisheries. It declined in every count from the 1970s to 2000 but increased in 2002 and 2004 as fishing restrictions designed to protect its critical habitat took effect. It is still below the 1990 level, but it may have turned the corner toward recovery.

AK(b) ---

(b) currently breeds, (s) seasonally present, (m) migration route, (o) occasionally present, (x) extirpated

Banner photo © Phillip Colla